Lockdown Leads To An Increase In Domestic Violence
Since the coronavirus lockdown began, reports of domestic violence have increased. Here in South Florida, a nonprofit group dedicated to assisting victims of domestic violence has seen the number of calls they are receiving more than double.
While contacting such a group can be an important step toward escaping an abusive relationship, anyone who is a victim of violence should contact local law enforcement immediately by calling 911 or the Florida Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-500-1119.
Florida law enforcement officials take reports of domestic violence very seriously, as they should. Domestic violence can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, and a conviction can result in imprisonment, fines, court fees, probation, immigration consequences, a restraining order, and/or mandatory enrollment in lengthy domestic violence treatment programs. You may also be denied access to your children, and have to forfeit your right to own or carry a gun.
These penalties are harsh, so anyone who is planning on contesting a domestic violence charge should work with an experienced criminal defense attorney like Antonio Valiente.
How Florida Treats Domestic Violence Cases
Florida considers domestic violence a crime, not a personal matter. This means charges can only be dropped by prosecutors. Even if the alleged victim does not wish to press charges, the state can still pursue the case. This is why it is critical to work with a criminal defense attorney who knows the ins and outs of the law, and what it takes to get charges dropped or have a judge rule not guilty.
Although each case is unique, a number of defenses can be asserted against a domestic violence charge. In cases where false allegations are made out of spite, particularly in contentious divorces and child custody disputes, our team works to expose inconsistencies between the accuser’s claims, police records, and witness accounts.
It may also be possible to show that the accused was acting in self-defense or to protect his or her children from harm. However, in these cases, it is necessary to prove that the defendant did not initiate the incident and that the actions taken by the defendant were proportional to those of the alleged victim.
For example, you can’t pull a knife on someone who merely shoved you if there was some other lesser action you could have taken to protect yourself or your children instead.
Our team will go over the details of your specific case to determine what defenses are open to you, and advise you throughout your case.
Each case is different because each family is different, so there is no way of predicting how your case will turn out just by reading through a blog on an attorney’s website. If you would like Attorney Valiente or another member of our team’s advice about your case, the best thing to do is make an appointment for an initial consultation. We are still meeting with clients during the COVID-19 pandemic, but we are doing so virtually or with certain precautions.
Posted in: Domestic Violence